The nose of the bulldog is slanted backwards so he can continue to breathe without letting
go. - Winston Churchill
There are times in our life when it looks like nothing that we are doing is succeeding. It seems as though all of your efforts are for naught and you are not seeing any positive results. I remember when I started working out, I became frustrated because I didn't look like the guys in all of the bodybuilding or fitness magazines. I expressed this to a guy that I befriended at the gym and he told me that is one of the big reasons that people stop working out. He stated they don't realize that change is happening every time that they go to the gym. As he said, "you have to put in work."
In the Far East, the people plant a tree called the Chinese Bamboo. In the first four years, people water and fertilize the plant on a regular basis and it appears that there is no growth. By the fifth year, they continue to repeat the process of watering and fertilizing. At this time, the tree finally breaks through the earth's surface. In 5 weeks time, the tree grows ninety feet in height. The question that I would like to pose to you is: did it grow ninety feet in 5 weeks or ninety feet in 5 years? Of course the answer is ninety feet in 5 years because if at any time during the proceeding four years the people had stopped watering or fertilizing the tree, it would have died. It's like that with your dreams. You have to persist and keep grinding. Note the words of Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistent and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press on will always solve the problems of the human race.
Scripture also speaks to the mindset that you have to possess in this life to accomplish things. 2 Timothy 2:3 states "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." (KJV) In this letter, Paul was explaining to Timothy the hardships that he would face in his ministry and to be prepared. Of course this has application to the struggles that we face on a daily basis in our spiritual, professional and persona lives. We have to be prepared to endure and persist to accomplish our dreams and plans and reap the harvest.
ACTION PLAN: Continue to persevere and persist in the accomplishment of your specific goals. Realize that nothing takes the place of consistent, focused determined effort.
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Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.